“You are married to a monster.”
A phrase that I’ve said to my husband more than once after a few days of dwelling on someone else’s pregnancy announcement; something you’d think I’d be happy about. I mean, isn’t that what “normal” people feel when they hear this type of news? I know I wish I felt happy but usually it’s a combination of anger, sadness and guilt.
I’m not a psychologist and I’m not an expert on the human brain but I have learned one or two things about emotions and I know that they cannot be controlled – we don’t get to choose what we feel and when we feel it. In my lowest moments, some of the thoughts I’ve had have seemed so evil that even I was shocked to think them. They have been destructive. They have also caused me to question who I am and have left me feeling like a terrible person.
How can they already be pregnant? Didn’t they *just* get married? I’ve been waiting for so long and they weren’t even trying. How is this fair? I wish this person would stop posting so many baby bump photos. That ultrasound photo is hideous. They don’t deserve to be pregnant. I wish they could experience my pain, maybe then they would stop complaining about their child.
I wish that they weren’t pregnant…
Any of these thoughts sound familiar? They are all thoughts that I’ve had. In fact, think about your worst thought and I’ve probably had it too. I’m right there with you.
We give a lot of power to our thoughts and emotions, don’t we? The thing is, they’re just…thoughts. Just because I wished someone’s pregnancy away, does not make me a bad person and the same goes for you! The thoughts and emotions that enter our minds do not control us. They do not define us. Did you catch that? Our thoughts do NOT define us! It’s difficult to wrap our minds around that isn’t it? But, it’s the truth.
My thoughts and emotions are not the issues. It’s what I do with them.
It’s the choices that I make and how I act outside of destructive thoughts. Which is way easier said than done, especially when depression and anxiety are hanging around. Just when I think I’m feeling better and I’ve reached the proverbial shore another wave, often in the form of a pregnancy announcement, pulls me under. That’s the way it goes, isn’t it? It’s got to be one day at a time and some days, one moment at a time. It’s a constant learning curve, but if we can learn to focus on our choices, we can move past our guilt and into healing. This is not something I have perfected in any way and pretty much almost every time I fail and all I can do is try again.
Friend, I want to tell you that I know your pain.
I know the heartache you are experiencing. I know what infertility and miscarriage feel like because they are my reality. I know that some of the thoughts we have are enough to destroy us. I think that we need to learn be kind to ourselves. To be gracious. Let’s learn to love ourselves more. It is surprising how quickly I begin to beat myself up when I have negative thoughts. Before I know it, I am scum of the earth.
Can I encourage you to do something?
Something that has helped me is to pause. Take a moment to stop and think about your thought. Your thought most likely comes from a place of pain and loss, not because you are evil. Practice replacing the lies with truth about who you really are. For instance, what would the people that love you say about you? My husband’s response to me is always that I am not a monster and he tells me how much he loves me every day. The guilt has never helped me at all and I doubt that it helps you either. So let’s work on getting rid of it together. We’ve got this!
Much love, Katie, www.warmwoollymittens.wordpress.com